Johnny B. Moore
Troubled World
Delmark 701
Talk about dues-paying bluesmen -- Johnny B. Moore's name should be near the top of the list. The 47-year-old Mississippian moved to Chicago as a young teen. He switched to guitar and apprenticed with Eddy Clearwater and Mighty Joe Young before joining Koko Taylor's Blues Machine in 1976. Four years later he was part of Willie Dixon's All-Stars, with whom he toured Europe and made some valuable connections. He debuted as a lead singer 10 years ago with Hard Times, and two Wolf albums got him more notice.

Last year Delmark released Live at Blue Chicago, a couple sets of lackluster material. Using some of the same musicians, Moore extends his range dramatically on Troubled World, contributing two originals (the title track a reprise from his 1987 LP that benefits, as do two others, from the presence of a three-man horn section) and working out on themes by Muddy Waters (a bouncy "Walkin' Through the Park") and Sonny Boy Williamson (an assertive "Keep It to Yourself"), both with fine piano solos by Ken Saydak.

In addition to "you done me wrong" songs -- McKinley Mitchell's "Sittin' Here Thinkin' " and his own "Why You Wanna Do Me Like That" -- Moore does a great job of stretching out on Guitar Slim's "The Things That I Used to Do" (solid piano solo from Roosevelt Purifoy) and the cautionary "Think Twice."

-- Miles Jordan

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Boulder, CO, USA.